First Choice or Second Best

Chapter 2: Doggy Princess

“You know, maybe I’d be less ashamed if I had a more erotic dream,” Michael muttered, wringing his hands and avoiding all possible eye contact.

Leanne shook her head as they continued down the streets of Lynn, Massachusetts. “Michael, you shouldn’t be ashamed about a dream where you’re surrounded by corgis. It’s okay,” she sighed, rubbing her temples.

“No! It’s not! I technically cheated on my princess! On my queen! I have betrayed her love and trust,” he cried, turning to face her. His bottom lip quivered as she continued to walk, leaving him behind.

His words stabbed her heart. Fredrik felt nothing when he hurt her but Michael was ready to beg for forgiveness. The Dane really should take notes from the American. However, hearing of this princess made her bristle. She had thought he was single. “I was unaware you had someone in your life, Michael.” She paused as looked back at him, waiting for an answer.

“Well, yea! She’s beautiful, you know? A really majestic Pomeranian princess I take care of-“

“Wait, she’s a dog?” Leanne asked, staring at him in disbelief. Millions of thoughts swarmed her mind, each one of a potential lover Michael could have.

“She is a puppy dog and what did you expect? I’m as single as a pringle and not yet ready to mingle.” He shrugged and jogged to where she was, hair bouncing and reminding Leanne of an energetic golden retriever.

“Whatever, flower boy.” She waved him off as he caught up to her and they both continued their nightly stroll. Of course, how could she think he would love anything other than a four-legged man’s best friend?

The wind breezed by, a rather welcome feeling compared to the winds in Denmark that cut through the body and coated everything in frost. Her boots clicked on the sidewalk, a sound much sharper than Michael’s padded footsteps. The trees rustled and cast shadows upon them, only for the street lights to shine on them at every odd interval.

Michael fidgeted, drumming his fingers on his thigh and biting his lip. The street lights flickered and on the left, a group of women stood, sending a seductive smile his way. He looked at her from the corner of his eye and cleared his throat.

“Are you going to rent one?” She asked, causing him to choke on his own spit and shatter whatever courage he had summoned henceforth. Her voice was threaded in steel coated in the most potent of poisons.

“N-No!” He squeaked. “I wanted to a-ask if you wanted to see Princess.” He maneuvered his body behind Leanne, attempting his hide his body behind her. It was rather difficult since she was a mere five feet to his nearly six feet self. He looked at her with a shy smile. “And um, do you mind if I hide behind you?”

That is it, Leanne thought, he is officially a puppy prince, a true cinnamon roll that must be protected at all costs. She fought the blush that threatened to coat her cheeks and nodded as he gave her another smile. Dear God, he was going to give her diabetes.

Walking past the women of the night, Michael tugged on her sleeve. “You didn’t answer my other question. Do you want to see Princess? I think she’d like to meet you.”

Her eye twitched as she thought of meeting his pet dog. Just why was he persistent in being around her? And he was a stranger she had only met a few hours earlier. She faced him and asked, “Why do you want me to meet your dog?”

“Because I think it will make you happy. I’m sure you’ll be sad as soon as I leave so why don’t I expand your circle of friends and show off Princess? Kill off two birds with one stone right? And uh- I just want to make sure you don’t do something you’d regret later.” There was a nervous ring in his laughter, as though she’d run off as soon as he finished and leave him in the dark.

“Oh, thanks for your concern.” She coughed out, shoving her hands in her pockets. “I’d um, I’d like to meet Princess. If that’s okay with you.” Though, she wasn’t exactly sure what he meant by regret. She had already drunk herself into a stupor as soon as she landed in American and cried her heart out into her pillow, which still had makeup printed upon it.

Her ears nearly fell off when he yelled in happiness and grabbed her arm. “Alright Princess! Here we come!” He dragged her towards the right of the street and pointed to the one of the many buildings standing. “Just a few more minutes and you can see my Princess! She’ll love you, I promise!”

His hazel eyes glimmered as a carefree laugh left his smiling lips. Leanne felt her own mouth curving up at the corners into a smile. His whimsical essence soothed the wounds on her heart, like aloe vera on sunburnt skin, or a parent’s kiss on a scraped knee. She joined in his laugh as he pulled her towards his apartment and his beloved dog, Princess.

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Astrid’s blue violet eyes contained worry as she gazed into Egil’s deep purple eyes. He rubbed his thumb over her knuckles and smiled at her. “Don’t worry, litla systir1, we’re doing this for Leanne’s sake. Fredrik can’t stop us from helping her and, you know as well as I, that she needs us,” he said, reaching over to push a strand of silvery blonde hair out of her face.

“Yes, but storebror2, will Leanne want our help? What if we accidentally mess up? What if we lead him to her?” She bit her trembling lip, staring deep into his eyes.

“It is alright, Astrid. He can’t hurt us if we do. Father won’t allow it, you are his only daughter after all.” Egil chuckled as he thought of their father. The man treated women as though they were nothing but he doted on his daughter. Ah, how Egil adored the irony. Even more hilarious was how their father wanted a child from all Nordic countries; Fredrik from Denmark, Arnstein from Norway, Anders from Sweden, Aasta from Finland, Egil from Iceland, Astrid from Greenland, and Atli from Faroe Islands. He was only missing the Åland Islands in Finland’s territory.

Their poor mothers were nothing more than babymakers for their father to gather heirs for his name. Ha, bless his mother’s ambitious heart. She’d tried to get him to the alter more times than the other women had combined, yet she won’t be anything other than a mistress for Father to scratch an itch if he had one.

“Storebror? Do you think Leanne is safe, wherever she is?” Astrid asked, her eyes large and watery as she imaged Leanne chained in a basement somewhere in America, begging for help. Her small body shuddered. “What if she was taken by Aidan? He does not like our storebror.”

“He wouldn’t involve himself with in an affair with someone who was a civilian. Give him credit, he won’t break the rules.” Egil scooted over to his sister and pulled her into a hug. “That fool Fredrik is who we should worry about. He’s risking everything for a woman he hurt.” Astrid nodded and wrapped her thin arms around his broad back.

From the doorway, Tait barked from its place as padded over to its mistress. “You should go to her, Astrid. Leanne probably trusts you more than any of our brothers at the moment.” Egil pulled back and grinned at the Greenland dog. “Plus you have a vicious warrior doggy to fend off unwanted suitors and overly obsessed Danes.”

“Storebror, please.” Astrid shook her head. Reaching out her right hand, she petted the dog, a sweet smile on her face. “Leanne hasn’t met anyone other than the three of us and Tait is a harmless overgrown baby. Isn’t that right, eskling3?” The dog woofed and rubbed itself on her hand.

“You love that dog more than half of our family don’t you?” Egil asked.

Astrid averted her eyes and uttered, “Lying is a sin, storebror.” She coughed as he burst into laughter. “W-Well now, how will we protect Leanne from her not so charming former prince?”

Egil wiped a tear from his eye as he shifted his body into a more comfortable position on the couch. “We’ll hide her away and get Freddy boy hooked on that woman he had an affair with! Or, something like that. I haven’t thought that far other than to sabotage his plan in getting Leanne back with utmost vigor.” His lips turned into a frown as he remembered his conversation with his older brother. “His mental state is starting to worry me. He might do something to that other woman in order to get Leanne back.”

“Should we protect that one as well?” Astrid asked, her brows scrunched up in thought. “We have no connection to her and storebror must view her as a disposable toy. She probably doesn’t know about his “work” or how dangerous he is. I personally feel no need to protect her. She’s like an ambiguous figure in this fight between Leanne and storebror. Is she aware of what’s going on? Is she a civilian or is she a member of another family?”

“We might have a war on our hands if the woman is related to gang or mafia. I’ll have her investigated. Well, there goes Freddy’s reputation of being the model heir for all the mobsters in the world.” Egil’s eyes flashed as his train of thought sped up. “Why did Fredrik have an affair in the first place? He’s always struck me of a monogamous man. Was he drunk or blackmailed?”

“Or is he turning into Father?” Astrid bit her lip. Getting up, she moved towards the window and glanced at the blizzard screaming outside of the well heated house they were in. “He inherited his looks from Father. What if he’s inherited Father’s personality?”

“We need to put him in therapy that’s what we need to do.” Egil waved off her concerns. “And I’m sure even Freddy doesn’t want to turn out like Father. One of him is enough.”

“I suppose.” Astrid relented as her other dogs came into the room and nudged her for affection. Her eyes widened as she sniffled and her body shook. The dogs sniffed her hands and licked, causing a small gasp to fall from her lips. “I have been chosen,” she whispered, leaning down to drown in animal fur and love. Her small body disappeared as she lay on the floor and let the dogs cover her in affection.

Maybe letting Astrid protect Leanne wasn’t a good idea, Egil thought. All Fredrik had to do was give the girl a puppy and she would be distracted for weeks while Fredrik would be able to capture Leanne within seconds. Maybe he should go instead.

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Contrary to Michael’s words, Princess hated her very presence and proximity to the man. The poofy fluff ball of arrogance had glared at Leanne every chance it got and clung to Michael like super glue. Right now, Michael cradled the demon spawn in his arms, cooing sweet words in its ear. “Who’s the most beautiful girl in the world? You are. You most definitely are, Princess.” He buried his face in its tawny fur and the bloody thing looked at her with the doggy version of a smirk.

“There can only be one alpha, Princess. One. Alpha,” she whispered, crossing her arms as she sat on the bronze4 sofa. The coffee table held her cup of hot chocolate, something Michael had insisted on as he ushered her in his home and took off her coat.

Dog toys were neatly piled onto a dog bed shaped like a bed from the Palace of Versailles. God, did he use his paycheck just to pamper that little monster? He didn’t even pay attention to Leanne as soon as he lay eyes on the pompous Pomeranian, scooped it up, and proceeded to worship it. The dog was clearly the master in their relationship.

“Hey, Michael, I don’t think your dog likes me.” Leanne stated, barely able to keep herself from hissing at the dog.

“Aw, she just needs some time getting used to you. Then you’ll be the best of bosom buddies!” He set down Princess onto her own sofa and perched on the only other human sized sofa. He missed her pointed look and aimlessly chattered about the history of Princess, how she was born, and etcetera.

Leanne tuned him out and examined her nails, the words flooding out of Michael’s mouth reminded her of Fredrik’s sister, Astrid. At first, she had been paralyzed with incredulity at the mere thought of such a sweet, innocence kitten of being related to the stone faced wolf she was dating. Then she had been told that Fredrik had a different mother and that Astrid had lived in Greenland with her mother.

Thank god or else the girl would have been corrupted. Egil was a perverted serial killer –okay, she didn’t know if he was a serial killer but he gave off the vibes of one- and Fredrik was being prepared to take over his father’s seat as the head. The other brothers had not made themselves known to her but the rumors circulating around them were as bright as the Marina’s Trench.

“-and Princess’s name isn’t really Princess, you see, it’s just a nickname. Her real name is Cerberus.”

She tuned back in to Michael’s words and blinked. “Wait, what?” She asked, staring at the dog that now gazed at Michael with what seemed to be betrayal.

“Oh, Princess is really named Cerberus. Did you know that in Greek it means Spot? Cause Hades totally named his three headed dog Spot. I mean, imagine going to the Underworld with all these dead souls crying and stuff when you hear a growl coming from a gigantic puppy dog trying to look vicious when a pretty lady and her nerdy husband comes out and he just calls the puppy dog “Spot,” and suddenly all the fear you feel fades away cause this god of the Underworld legit named his guard dog a generic dog name instead of being all mysterious and terrifying.” Michael guffawed, hugging his sides as the image manifested in his mind.

Leanne stared at him, eyes flicking to Princess and back to Michael. The dog mimicked her actions and before long, they stared at each other in silent agreement. Michael peeked at them from the corner of his eye and swallowed a bark of laughter. He knew they’d get along sooner or later.

Turning to look at Leanne, he asked, “Are you going to spend the night or go home? It’s pretty late now.”

“What?”

“Well, if you want to spend the night, you’re in luck cause I have a spare bedroom and if you want to go home, I’m okay with getting you a cab or walking you home,” He clarified, and motioned to Princess. “And you’re getting real peachy with my Princess so if you girls want a sleepover I won’t bother unless you want food. I make mean Samoas cookies, as good as the ones girl scouts sell, I promise. Unless you don’t like Samoas, then I can make cupcakes. Don’t worry, my friend Charles taught me his best recipes as long as I don’t sell them. He owns a bakery in England.”

“Not only can you provide comfort as great as a puppy, you can bake?” Leanne whispered, a hint of reverence in her voice. “You’re like the whole package.”

“The whole package of flower boy? Then yes, yes I am good lady. I can’t cook a lot of things though. My skills are in affection and baked goods.” He grinned. “And my utter devotion to Princess of course.”

“Have you ever dated, Michael? I mean, you have these great qualities. It’s kind of hard to see you not taken by now. Was it because of Princess?” Leanne’s eyes darted to the canine as Princess pawed her bed before resting and shutting her eyes.

“I have, if you count those dating sims. Plus, I’m not all that great, I have flaws you know. Mom’s told me that I’m too trusting and oblivious. Never could see the tension in the room or anything.” A nervous chuckle erupted from him as he scratched the back of his head. “I mean, you could be a serial killer posing as a heartbroken girl and I just invited you into my home with only a dog as the witness for my murder. Not that you’re really a serial killer but you know? Plus I’ve had a real boyfriend once. We kinda didn’t stay together since it was long distance and he started liking someone else.”

“I’m sorry it didn’t um, work out.”

“It’s alright. It was a few years ago and I’m over it. What about you?” He moved to her sofa and clasped her hands. It felt warm.

She paused and looked away from him. “I’m ready to settle down. Find someone I want to have a family with and stuff.” A mirthless smile made its way to her lips. “Fredrik bought a house for us to live in. He said it was perfect and I –I thought that he wanted to marry me. I had already met two of his siblings and his parents so I thought –He promised to let me meet the others and-” Her throat closed up as she began to sniffle.

“O-Oh, you don’t have to continue if you don’t want to, Leanne. I’m sorry for asking about it.” He used one hand to rub her back as she broke down into sobs. She turned and clutched his shirt, wet rivulets streaming down the cotton fabric.

They stayed like that for a while, Leanne continuing to pour out her feelings and Michael comforting her the best he could. He sung a soft Italian lullaby and hugged her tightly.

“Hey, what’s that song called?” Leanne asked, not looking up at Michael so he wouldn’t see her red and puffy eyes.

He stopped singing. “I think it’s called Ninna Nanna. I heard it when this guy came into the café. I liked it so I asked him to teach me the song.”

“You really asked a stranger to teach you a song?” Though, she didn’t really have the right to say a thing since he asked her to meet his dog and she agreed.

“Well yea, plus he had pretty pinkish red eyes. I’m sure they were contacts but who knows? I’ve seen lots of people with different eye colors but I think people aren’t very creative when they think that only blue eyes are pretty. Some blue eyes are scary and cold,” he mumbled.

Well, he was right about some eyes being scary and cold.

“Hey, are you hungry? I’ll make something to eat. It’s um, almost two in the morning but hey, food is the solution to everything and you need to rehydrate yourself,” Michael offered, a sunshine smile blooming her way.

“Okay, what about the hot chocolate you made me?” She asked, pulling back from his embrace. “It’d be a waste to throw it away.”

“Listen, it’s cold and I think you need something warm, but I’ll heat it up if you still want it.” He reached for the mug and got up, walking towards the kitchen.

“Oh, then what can you cook? And I still want the hot chocolate.” Leanne wiped off the remnants of her tears and fixed her clothes.

Michael placed the mug in the microwave and turned to face her. “Baked potato soup, lasagna, potato salad, homemade potato chips, shrimp chowder, baked macaroni and cheese, and fettuccine alfredo. That’s all I can think of the moment.”

Her stomach grumbled as she listened to him list the food. A light blush covered her face as she hoped puppy prince didn’t hear her stomach growl. “W-Which one can you make the fastest?”

“Um, the fettuccine alfredo takes ten minutes.” He replied, rummaging the pantry for ingredients. Since the kitchen was right in front of the living room, Leanne had a rather nice view of his backside. She’d rather die than admit it out loud but the back was as tantalizing as the front. “Leanne? Hello? Does that mean you want alfredo?” He called, turning his head around to look at her.

The blush reddened even more as she avoided his eyes a stammered out an affirmative. He blinked and turned back to cooking, briefly wondering about why her face was a red tomato. Oh well, he had feed to his prickly cactus after all.

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                                            killing you SOFTLY ?

no. this is going to be BLOODY,

this is going to be BRUTAL,

& most of all
THIS IS GONNA

HURT LIKE HELL.

 

Cupcake Love

Chapter 1:

Do you like cupcakes?

Prologue:

Murder was a source of amusement. It gave him a sense of euphoria as he watched the life bleed from the eyes of his victims. The way his victims screamed was simply delicious, just like cream cheese frosting on a red velvet cupcake. From those very sounds, he could taste sweetness that rivaled sugar. Cutting into the flesh, while those screams filled the air, made his slim body shudder in absolute ecstasy. He moaned. To think such sin could bring him so much bliss and pleasure. His breathing quickened into pants as he carefully moved his knife, skin peeling from muscle as blood reached up and kissed the blade. He paused and smiled at the face twisted in terror and pain. Bringing up the knife, he gently caressed the wonderfully defined cheekbones, giggling as blood left the cold blade for the faint heat of life.

*C*U*P*C*A*K*E*L*O*V*E*

Chapter 1: Chrysanthemum

The rain pelted the sugar-spun windows and slid down the marzipan windowsill before resting on the gumdrop bushes. All around, the buildings were coated in dreariness, except one. The owner of the sugary windows stood tall with pride in all its pastel glory, flourishing its white accents and puffing out its minty green front door, decorated with a single wooden sign painted in baby blue beckoning the passersby with the word “open” written in cursive. The windows glowed besides the door and held intricate displays of sweets upon white stands with dark yellow ribbons and recently cut snapdragons wrapping around the stands.

Inside of the bakery, creamy tiles and peachy walls added on to the quaint charm as the plush Victorian chairs surrounded light oaken tables in a warm embrace. Display cases were on both sides of the cash register that stood in the center of the back. The display cases held macaroons, Danishes, fruit tarts, pies, and other sweets that glistened with temptation. On the back wall, large menus contained several drinks and specials in chalk.

Hanging from the ceiling were fairy lights shining down on the creamy tiles with a soft light as gentle songs played by music boxes floated in the air and danced with the aroma of freshly baked goods. Two doors, one in the rightmost corner and the other left, were the color of candy cane. The door on the left led to the restrooms while the door on the right led to the kitchen.

Humming along to the song twinkling from the speakers overhead, Charles busied himself with the arrangement of his confections, deciding which color ribbons he should use or which flower would best compliment his sugary concoctions. He would glance out into the street every so often, in search of a familiar face, only to sigh when it did not appear. His mop of unruly red curls was encompassed by a fiery halo, courtesy of the lights shimmering above, while his brown eyes dulled with disappointment.

Taking out his pocket watch, the glass reflected his smooth face, the color of light beige with freckles sprinkled predominately across the bridge of his nose. Nearly 3 o’clock and his poppet had yet to come by. He put away the watch and fiddled with his lavender bow tie. “Poppet always comes at this time,” he bemoaned, sniffling as time flowed past and his poppet did not come in.

Outside, the rain lightened and the sun peeked through grey clouds. People began to fill the streets and Charles attended to those who came into his bakery. At least he could drown his thoughts in work. He scampered around to take orders and deliver the requested items with a smile pasted on his face. Dragonwell with a slice of cheesecake and Darjeeling with a slice of pumpkin pie for table three while table eight desired Assam with a lemon cupcake with vanilla frosting. He really should hire some employees.

The door opened as he placed down table eight’s order. Straightening, he wished the occupants of table eight a good meal and hurried over to the newcomer. “Welcome to Confection Connection,” he exclaimed, “Please take a seat anywhere. I’ll be over in a jiffy!”

“Grazie,” the man waved off Charles and sat in the corner. Charles shrugged his shoulders and continued to work.

The man watched, magenta eyes containing amusement, as Charles moved around, a scrawny pastel blur of merriment. Brushing his brown russet locks back, he glanced at one of the many display cases. A beautiful tiramisu cake sparkled underneath the lights. Charles soon blocked his view of the beauty. “Sorry for the wait, dear. Now, what would you like?”

“That tiramisu cake right behind you,” he replied. “Maybe in a box to go?”

“Alright, please meet me at the cash register,” Charles moved to get the cake. The man got up from his chair and stood before the register. He watched Charles place the dessert in a box and pushed the brass buttons on the register. “Your total comes to £49.72.” He took out his wallet and paid, glancing at Charles’s smile with indifference. Charles’s brown eyes shone with unhappiness. Oh well, not his problem. He took the cake and left, humming to the tune of Ninna Nanna.

Charles continued to work and heaved a sigh when the bakery was empty of customers. It was ten, the time to close shop. Poppet hadn’t showed up at all. “Perhaps something came up. She did tell me that her mother was in the hospital,” he muttered. “Poor thing, I hope she’s alright.” He walked up to the door and flipped the open sign to close. “I might as well check on the special ingredients.”

*C*U*P*C*A*K*E*L*O*V*E*

The tree leaves were shades of gold and copper as they fell to the chilly earth. Fall had finally set in after months of rain and now, the sun was peeking out from the grey clouds. Soft breezes swept by and Evangeline smiled as she heard a rather satisfying crunch underneath her boots. The sidewalk’s normally grey hue was now coated in warmer and livelier colors.

Ahead, the Thames River hospital stood, gazing towards the sky as if reaching for heaven. The large glass windows reflected sunlight, giving it a celestial glow, as the shadows curved around it, giving it a rounder shape. Evangeline hurried towards the entrance, noting the increase in cars in the parking lot. “There’s more than it used to be,” she mumbled, pulling her coat tighter.

The interior of the hospital was brighter, blindingly so with the fluorescent lights beaming down on the pale white tiles and walls. Steel bars encased the windows and glinted, while the doors were pitch black. Ice-cold air blasted from above and it looked more like a sanitarium than a hospital. Maybe this is what the ninth level of hell feels like, Evangeline thought, her body shivering and trembling every moment she stayed in the hospital.

She continued her journey and followed a path that had been long ingrained into her mind. Room 444 was past this corner. Before long, door to room number 444 materialized. Evangeline opened the door and light spilled out, gentler and kinder than the ones overhead.

“Lina? Did you come to see your maman?” A serene voice filled the air and Evangeline felt the familiar lump form in her throat.

“Oui, I’m here, maman.”

Her mother sat on the bed, her long brown hair pooling by her side, and green eyes twinkling with mirth. However, her white skin seemed paler than the crisp sheets of her bed, bags settled permanently underneath her eyes, and she was not as vibrant as she had been in Evangeline’s childhood memories.

“Come, come, take a seat.” Her mother gestured to the chair that never left its place by the bed.

“Yes, maman,” she murmured, sitting down and smoothing out her pleated black skirt.

“You never wear anything above your knees.”

“Hm?” Evangeline paused, clasping her hands above her crossed legs.

Her mother sighed, “You were always so proper, so polite, so private, and so very obedient. I suppose it was because we raised you to be a lady.”

“Father says that I am you, just more ladylike.” It was true. Evangeline and her mother were physical carbon copies, to the tips of their wavy brown hair, to the tips of their small feet. However, while her mother smiled with a brilliance that rivaled the sun, Evangeline did not display any emotion other than a faint polite smile of a doll’s. It was much easier to say that Evangeline took after her mother in looks but took after her father in personality.

“There have been a string of disappearances lately. It’s near the bakery you like so much,” Evangeline announced.

“Oh really? I suppose it has been in the news as of late. Do be careful the next time you visit Charles –though you should bring him over so I can chat with him too.” Her mother began to grin, wiggling her eyebrows.

“I suppose I will ask. It will depend on his schedule.” Evangeline shrugged and glanced at her watch.

“Is it time to go already?”

She nodded and stood, before waving to her mother on her way out. “I’ll see you sometime soon.”

*C*U*P*C*A*K*E*L*O*V*E*

The chill in the air had gone up and once more, Evangeline pulled her coat tighter across her body. The streetlights glowed in the dark of night, as she walked. Footsteps sounded on the frozen cement, footsteps other than her own. She paused. The footsteps continued. Relaxing a bit, she continued to walk to Charles’s bakery.

Her focus shifted and she thought of how to ask Charles to visit her mother again. Was it even worth the inescapable embarrassment? Was she even close enough to Charles to ask him? The first visit was entirely coincidental; she was going to visit her mother when she bumped into Charles, who at the time was visiting his younger brother.

He had insisted on seeing her mother, because he had “wondered where his best customer had gone.” It was odd, even if her mother had frequented his shop. She remembered nodding and leading him to her mother’s room. His enthusiasm had irked her. He had bombarded her with questions and banal topics, never-ceasing his chatter even when they had arrived and greeted her mother. If anything, he merely added the older woman in their one-sided conversation and he positively beamed when she answered one of his infinite questions in a poor attempt of shutting him up.

Why did she even try? Other than the fact that the woman she called mother burned a hole in her head and sent a message with her eyes; be a lady and stop ignoring the bloody chipmunk. Dratted woman sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. She should have learned to keep to herself long ago.

Evangeline paused in her thoughts and looked up. The door to Charles’ bakery gazed back at her, making the hair on her neck stand up. It was unnerving to be near him. Bracing herself, she reached for the door and walked in.

“Charles,” she called, eyes flickering to the childish decorations littering the building. It looked like a Rococo painting mashing with reality in a god-awful bakery. Not that she say that to Charles’ face, she valued her life for the time being.

He had yet to appear like the small pastel devil he usually was. Her body stiffened when she heard humming. Humming would be considered cute in a way but the way it rang up to her location was creepy. It was as though it came from one of those horror story monster children as they skipped down the hall, covered in blood and bits of pink tissue.

Pushing the thoughts of horror movies to the side, Evangeline seated herself on a plump chair near the door. She might as well wait for Charles to come to her. Tapping her fingers on the unnaturally clean table, she glanced out of the window, watching as the streetlights flickered on. “Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin. You never come out the way you came in. You ask for water, but they give you gin. The girls say no, but always give in. If you’re not bad, they won’t let you in. It’s the damndest city I’ve ever lived in. Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin. You never come out the way you came in,” she muttered, flashes of women dancing underneath similar looking streetlights in another time.

“You know, poppet, it’s not polite to curse.”

Her body jolted as she swung her head back, eyes widening a fraction as she gazed upon Charles. He stood in front of right beside her, the faint lights casting shadows upon his face. Lord, his eyes seemed like coal-burning with hell fire. Heady and dark, yet aflame with determination.

She straightened her back as she schooled her features into a blank stare. “I’m not interested in being polite or heterosexual, Charles.”

The flame in his eye was extinguished in seconds. His shoulders sagged as he cleared his throat. “Er, is there something you needed Evangeline? My bakery has already closed.”

“Mother wants you to visit her,” Evangeline stated and stood up from her seat. A vague sense of victory filling her as he took a step back. She moved around him and went towards the entrance, not giving him a glance back. “That’s all.”

She exited the bakery of pastel hell and strolled down the street, careful to not walk underneath the street light completely. A soft chuckle left her mouth as she thought of Charles’ shocked face when she had left. It was amusing to see his Cheshire smile wiped off his face and replaced with that human expression instead.

Then she bumped into a rather warm torso and her chuckling stopped. “Mi scusi, bella. Are you alright?” The voice was deep and velvety, caressing her very cheeks with those words. A rather olive colored hand lifted up her head by her chin as the other hand rested on her waist. She said nothing as a smirk curled on the man’s lips. Narrowing her green eyes, she gazed into his own, the color of magenta. His eyes twinkled as he swept his thumb over her bottom lip. “Oh? Not saying a single thing, bella? Am I so good-looking that you’ve become speechless?”

“I’m not interested in men who use cologne,” she huffed, shoving him away. “I am sorry for bumping into you. Goodbye.” She waved him off and quickened her pace. The man laughed at her retreating form before muttering about an Italian nightclub and a dancing fox.

The words were most likely rubbish, she thought. Evangeline turned the corner and let her feet carry her home.

*C*U*P*C*A*K*E*L*O*V*E*

A vase of white lilies sat on her coffee table, bathed in the light of the television buzzing with news. Evangeline tied her robe and perched on the arm of the ivory couch. Her eyes glanced from the news reporter to the clock. It was almost three in the morning. She slid into onto the cushions and relaxed as several infomercials appeared.

Eyelashes fluttering as a salesman threw a blender out of the window, Evangeline yawned and curled up.

Click.

Her eyes were shut even as her brain registered the sound of a camera going off. However, she thought nothing of it. It could have been just another infomercial after all. Her breathing deepened and Evangeline was in the world of dreams.

Upon the television screen, the news reporter cleared her throat and gestured to the audience. “And written in the victim’s blood was a chilling message; Alice found the White Rabbit. It seems that the killer has an obsession with the Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice in Wonderland. Yet, who could this “Alice” be? Is it the killer? Or is it a game where the killer retells the tale in a string of murders? Stay safe everyone and goodnight.”

*C*U*P*C*A*K*E*L*O*V*E*

 ~The first step to any murder is to have fun and be yourself~

Follow the White Rabbit?

Yes        No

Hybristophilia: sexual attraction towards psychopaths